“SIEGE MENTALITY” DEVELOPING IN LAMBETH SAYS GREEN PARTY COUNCILLOR
Lambeth council’s leadership are beginning to develop a siege mentality, says the council’s sole Green party representative Cllr Scott Ainslie.
He says the “so-called intimidation” councilors complain of is a fiction.
“Lambeth’s leadership are playing the victims, trying to paint ordinary members of the public as violent, extremist, thugs when nothing could be further from the truth.
“What we in the Green party witnessed at publicly-held council meetings has been understandable fear and despair from people whose homes are being threatened with demolition and services are being swept from under them. “These are the real victims.”
Cllr Ainslie’s comments come in the latest issue of Lambeth Weekender in its regular ‘Political Brief’ column.
He says that despite its huge majority (59 Labour, 3 Conservative 1 Green) the Labour administration is becoming scared of being scrutinised by the people whose lives its decisions affects.
“It has introduced a range of measures which, together, seem designed to discourage the general public from attending meetings.”
These include the time of cabinet meetings being changed to 5pm – making it impossible for anyone working typical office hours to attend.
“Venues are also changing – out goes the centrally-located Karibu centre close to Brixton Tube, and in comes little-known Bolney community centre in the north of the borough.
“Despite 59 of the 63 councillors being Labour, Lambeth’s leadership are beginning to develop a siege mentality – and that cannot be good for democracy.”
At last week’s full council meeting Conservative opposition leader Cllr Tim Briggs likened Lambeth council to a one-party state.
“The failures of this council are the beginning of the end of a tired Labour administration, like a failed one-party state that listens less as it goes on” he said.
Referring to suggestions Lambeth council might be getting a new leader he asked if any new leader would deal with the three great failings of the current administration.
“We’re the 29th poorest borough in the country. “Second is libraries. “Third is regeneration – tens of millions of pounds are being sucked into a project (Homes for Lambeth) trying to persuade residents that it will be OK.
“They lose their homes. “That cannot justify the trauma that people are experiencing. “It’s what one person called psychological violence.”
Further reading: Lambeth Weekender October 19th 2016 page 19